Career ladder: From CIO to deputy chief executive

Career ladder: From CIO to deputy chief executive

Peter Thomas moves from NZ Defence Force to the new Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Peter Thomas is leaving his general manager strategic programmes post at the New Zealand Defence Force, to become the deputy chief executive, corporate services at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.  

Thomas, whose previous role included NZ Defence Force CIO, says he will report to MBIE’s CEO David Smol and is accountable for the following functions:


- Finance

- Legal Services

- Procurement

- Property

- Information Management

- Fleet Management

(MBIE) has been created from the integration of Ministry of Economic Development, Department of Labour, Building and Housing, and the Ministry for Science and Innovation.


“The initial focus and challenge of my role will be to integrate these corporate service functions from their originating agencies into one functional group, while continuing to provide customer service to the front line and policy functions within the new Ministry,” says Thomas.

Victor Vae’au is now the CIO of the Defence Force.


Both Thomas and Vae’au came from the finance sector. Thomas was general manager at Westpac before he joined the NZ Defence Force in 2007. Vae’au came from ANZ National Bank, prior to joining the Defence Force in 2008. His previous roles included senior manager, application development, retail/rural and senior manager infrastructure management at ANZ National Bank. 


“My focus as a CIO has enabled me to move into a more pure business role where the focus is improvement at the business level,” says Thomas on how stint as ICT leader has helped him. “Doing a CIO role and focusing on business improvement with IT has enabled me to bring my career into a cross organisational change role.”


Related article:

Peter Thomas talks about ‘building great teams’

Other recent ICT executive appointments:

• Allan Dornan is now chief operating officer at IAG New Zealand. “This role encompasses my previous teams of IT, project management office and product, personal lines pricing and underwriting and adds in claims services, procurement, property and administration groups,” says Dornan, who joined IAG in 2007 as CIO, from his role as IT manager at Lumley Insurance. Kevin Angland, who was head of software solutions at the insurance company, is the new CIO.


• Phil Brimacombe is now director IT strategy, policy and planning at the University of Auckland. He is responsible for strategic IT leadership across the university and is currently developing a new IT Strategic Plan. Other responsibilities include support of the governance of IT at the University of Auckland, and oversight of enterprise architecture, ICT Risk, IT Procurement, media services and identity and access management.


• Andy Stewart is the new manager information and technology at The Selwyn Foundation, following roles at Southern Cross Hospitals and Wakefield Health.


• Pieter Bakker is now general manager strategic programmes at Ports of Auckland, following a reorganisation at the port. Bakker was previously general manager IT and project office. In his new role, he is a member of the executive team and will be heading in the next 10 months a range of programmes that include a new joint venture business and core terminal management system replacement. 


• Wayne Broekhals leaves Cognition Education and is now IT business solutions manager at Acland Holdings, which sells homeware products under the brands of Citta Design and Corso De Fiori.


Email for new CIO and other ICT executive appointments.

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